The Unofficial Ranking of Guinness’ Most Iconic Animal Ads

My goodness!

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Pints of Guinness in the museum in Dublin. Guinness is an Irish dry stout produced by Diageo originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness

If you’ve ever stepped foot in an Irish bar, you’ve likely seen some of Guinness’ vintage posters. The genius ads, designed by artist John Gilroy, have delighted beer drinkers for decades. And, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re taking a look at the most iconic Guinness mascots of all time. Cheers!

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Number 9: The Kinkajou

Part of the “My Goodness, My Guinness” campaign, the kinkajou was one of many tricky zoo animals that thwarted a zookeeper (who was caricatured after Gilroy himself). Psst! Use a pint in one of these delicious stout recipes.

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Number 8: The Crocodile

I don’t think the zookeeper is getting this pint back. The animal is even shedding crocodile tears! Not a huge Guinness fan? Reach for one of these other Irish beers.

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Number 7: The Pelican

At first, a pelican was thought to be the crowning bird of Guinness. But then, one of the ad campaign’s copywriters, Dorothy Sayers, made a change that would alter history. Keep reading to find out which.

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Number 6: The Lion

This bounding lion knows a pint of Guinness is worth the chase. A similar big cat appeared in some of Guinness’ Alice in Wonderland-inspired ads. We bet the lion would go for this traditional Guinness stew, too.

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Number 5: The Sea Lion

In some regards, the sea lion started it all. During a trip to the zoo, Gilroy saw a sea lion balancing a ball on its nose. He connected the dots to Guinness and imagined a sea lion with a pint of beer instead.

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Number 4: The Bear

Good luck getting that pint back. This thieving bear won’t be bribed.

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Number 3: The Ostrich

Nothing—not even a pint glass—can stand in the way of this ostrich getting his Guinness fix. When the ad was first released, some fans were concerned that he swallowed the glass the wrong way. Gilroy’s explanation? The ostrich was balancing the glass on his beak (a la the sea lion) and flicked it up in the air before swallowing.

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Number 2: The Tortoise

Popular in many advertisements, the tortoise frequently echoes the sentiment “Have a Guinness When You’re Tired.” In earlier ads, the stout was often pegged as a good-for-you health drink that can make you strong. Is Guinness the key to a long life? One 100-year old woman claims it is.

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Number 1: The Toucan

We know you saw this one coming. But there’s no denying that Guinness’ most popular mascot is the toucan. Introduced in the 1930s, the toucan appeared during many of the brand’s ad campaigns, most notably with the “Lovely Day for a Guinness” slogan.

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Katie Bandurski
As Senior Shopping Editor, Katie connects Taste of Home readers with the best gifts, deals and home products on the market. An avid foodie and a holiday enthusiast, Katie is an expert at cultivating meaningful moments. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and watching Christmas movies.